Chickenpox / shingles

Hi everyone, just a quick post for now although I have several other queries for another time. I spent a short time, less than an hour, with my five year old granddaughter on Monday, on Tuesday her parents noticed she was coming out in spots and are pretty sure she has chickenpox. I had it as a child but is there a risk I could get shingles? On this occasion I don't remember any close contact and definitely no kissing as her daddy came to pick her up and was in a hurry.

Thank you in anticipation. 😊

7 Replies

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  • I don't think you can get shingles from exposure to chickenpox. I think shingles occurs only in people who have had chickenpox in the past and the latent virus in their bodies is activated somehow - but not by exposure to chickenpox. I believe the reverse is true. A person who has never had chickenpox can catch it from close contact (like touching the lesion?) with a person who has active shingles.

  • Thank you HeronNS for your reassuring answer, this sight is brilliant in a moment of panic and I thank you for a quick response even though I have only now seen it. Sandra

  • A person who is on Pred should not have contact with anyone who has shingles or chicken pox.

    You should see or speak to your doctor or practice nurse and tell him about your contact as a matter of urgency. The advice is in the paper insert of the pred.

  • Hi ,

    PMRandRA is correct - you need to see doctor - and get an injection (if necessary) to lessen any side effects from virus.

  • Thank you all very much for your advice, I have spoken to my GP this morning, he says he doesn't think there's anything to worry about at the moment and has advised me to get into contact immediately should I start to feel unwell or get any obvious symptoms. Thank you all once more, it's so reassuring to have this site to come to for advice. 😊 Sandra.

  • You can't catch shingles - as Heron says, it is something that reactivates the virus which has been dormant in your body since you had CP yourself.

    If you get any signs of shingles developing then see your GP immediately who should give you antiviral medication to reduce the symptoms (tablets usually, not injections). They don't work unless the virus is active so no point worrying in advance - just be watchful. But you are no more likely to develop shingles because of seeing her than if you had not.

    The warning on the drug packets is for people who have never had chicken pox in the first place - if you are in contact with either CP or shingles you can develop CP (it's pretty theoretical with shingles but could happen). CP in adults can be pretty bad, with a suppressed immune system it could be even worse.

    Very severely immunocompromised patients (chemotherapy or transplant patients) would possibly be given an injection of immunoglobulin to minimise problems but it isn't generally used - restricted supplies make it very expensive. And it has potential side effects too.

  • Thank you PMRpro, very dependable and informative as always. 😊 Sandra.

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